Attorney General Issues Consumer Alert for Families to Keep their Homes Safe this Holiday Season

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 14, 2016

Contact: James Hallinan (505) 660-2216

Albuquerque, NM – Today, Attorney General Hector Balderas issued a consumer advisory in conjunction with his Operation Holiday Home Protection to remind New Mexicans to keep their home and family safe during the holidays. “During this time of celebration and family, it is important that New Mexicans remain vigilant about possible dangers and act to protect their families and homes,” said Attorney General Balderas. “Unfortunately this is the time of year when thieves and scammers are out in force.”

As part of the Attorney General’s mission to protect New Mexico’s homeowners and families, the Attorney General offers the following holiday safety tips:

· Put Christmas trees and gifts out of plain sight. Large displays of holiday gifts should not be visible through the windows and doors of your home.

· Pick up packages promptly or arrange for alternate delivery. Make sure you pick up any packages left on your doorstep soon after they are delivered. If you are not going to be able to get to the package right away, for example if you work during the day, many delivery services offer alternate arrangements for delivery. Select a time when you know you will be home or you may want to consider having them hold it at the facility for you to pick up.

· Protect your home from fire. If you have a fresh Christmas tree make sure to keep it watered so it does not dry out and become a fire danger. If you use lights on your tree, make sure the cord is not frayed or damaged. And always ensure that your home has fire alarms that have fresh batteries and that function correctly.

· Keep your travel plans offline — If you are going to be away from home during the holidays, don’t post about your trip on social media sites. Posting details about your trip lets thieves know when your house will be empty.

· Notify a neighbor. If you are going out of town during the holidays, be sure to notify a trusted neighbor. Ask the neighbor to help make sure your house looks like somebody is home– keep your walks cleared of snow and pick up your mail and newspapers while you are away. Importantly, if they see any suspicious activity, they should report it.

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